A fascinating thought experiment from Ted Chiang:
So let’s imagine a world in which Chinese characters were never invented in the first place. Given such a void, the alphabet might have spread east from India in a way that it couldn’t in our history, but, to keep this from being an Indo-Eurocentric thought experiment, let’s suppose that the ancient Chinese invented their own phonetic system of writing, something like the modern Bopomofo, some thirty-two hundred years ago. What might the consequences be?
I completely agree with Cennydd (and Peter, and Leisa). If anyone working on a project—whether they’re a designer, developer, or anything else—isn’t considering the user experience, then what’s the point of even being there? By extension, labelling your work as “UX Design” is as redundant and pointless as labelling it “Good Design.”
But my complaint is with the label, not the activities. It’s the UX Design label that has little value for me. These activities happen in all good design: if you’re not trying to create positive experience then I don’t really understand what you are doing.
Twenty-six letters of independent publishing building blocks.
(Initially it required jQuery but I tweaked it to avoid those dependencies and Yuri very kindly merged my pull request—such a lovely warm feeling when that happens.)
The alphabet illustrated with CSS.
This is why the Internet Archive matters. It is now the public record of Obama’s broken promise to protect whistleblowers.
I feel very bad for the smart, passionate, talented people who worked their asses off on change.gov, only to see their ideals betrayed.
Remember when I linked to the Github repository of The Guardian’s front-end team? Well, now—if you’ll pardon the mixing of metaphors—you can start to kick the tyres of the fruits of their labour. This beta site shows where their experiments with responsive design might lead.
Thoughtful points from Chris, delivered on the closing day of this year’s Brooklyn Beta.
So, the next time you feel like you’re missing out, stop it. Zoom out a little bit and give yourself some space and some perspective, so you can focus on what matters.
Song-a-day Mann closed out this year’s Brooklyn Beta by singing this song (number #1381 in his ongoing series). We all sang along. It was pretty damn great.
Dan writes about how data saved his life. That is not an exaggeration.
He describes how, after receiving some very bad news from his doctor, he dived into the whole “quantified self” thing with his health data. Looking back on it, he concludes:
If I were still in the startup game, I have a pretty good idea of which industry I’d want to disrupt.
The Long Now blog is featuring the bet between myself and Matt on URL longevity. Just being mentioned on that site gives me a warm glow.
The most useful site on the web.
Take all the fonts on your operating system, superimpose them, and whaddya get? This.
Two fine songwriters. Only one of them is still with us.
Long Bets - The original URL for this prediction (www.longbets.org/601) will no longer be available in eleven years.
This is my prediction. If you think it’s wrong, challenge it. We shall then partake in a wager.
A wonderful history of our alphabet. Set aside some time to read this.
Google reaffirms its commitment to net neutrality ...except when it comes to wireless broadband, of course, because that's *totally* different, right? This disgusts me.
Kanji characters that transform into the animal they represent.
A nice explanation of the ruby element in HTML5: very handy for marking up phonetic pronunciation.